Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Consolidate Data on the Cloud for Better Marketing

Key Challenges

   Create a central source with visualizations for all pertinent sales databases.
   Ensure that only authorized users access the sales opportunities.
   Ensure easy access for users without requiring a connection to a corporate network.
   Save time for users by increasing the speed of data access.

Business Case

Our client offers a variety of products to large enterprises that are sold through a worldwide network of resellers. The resellers work with enterprise customers to offer purchase incentives and product trials. The unique offers must be approved by corporate sales managers before they are presented to the enterprise customers.

To evaluate offers, the corporate sales managers examine data from spreadsheets, feedback from resellers, and feedback from company sales representatives. The data is maintained on various databases. For example, enterprise customer feedback may be in one database and sales leads may be in another. The corporate sales managers find it difficult to analyze proposed offers because of the varying formats and disparate data sources.

MAQ Software worked with resellers, company sales representatives, and corporate sales managers to deliver a cloud-based solution that presents the disparate data in an easy-to-understand format.


MAQ Software created a reliable and scalable cloud solution using Azure Data Factory, Azure SQL Database, and Azure Analysis services.

Key Highlights

   Used Azure Data Factory to aggregate data from multiple sources (SharePoint lists, static files, and on-premise databases).
   Implemented easy-to-understand data visualizations using Power BI.

Figure 1: Solution architecture using Azure Services and Power BI

MAQ Software used an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) to create an on-premise gateway. Azure Data Factory connects to the VM to source data from multiple sources including SharePoint lists, static files, and other on-premise databases. Blob storage is used to store the downloaded Excel files.

Data Factory then pushes the data to Azure SQL Database. Key vault is used to store connection strings and credentials for accessing SharePoint lists and other sources. An Azure Analysis Services tabular model sources the data from the Azure SQL server. Power BI reports are created using the tabular model.

Business Outcome

MAQ Software’s end-to-end cloud solution joined disparate databases together by organizing the data into easy-to-interpret Power BI visuals. Sales leads are now quickly followed up on, and specific product offers are easily tailored to the needs of each enterprise customer.

Outcome Highlights

   Grew revenue due to easily accessible information from a single Power BI portal.
   Saved time by reducing the need to search through various databases for information.
   Created easy-to-interpret Power BI visuals for corporate sales managers.
   Improved security with Azure Key Vault.

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